The New York Mission Team served all across New York City during the week of June 5, 2017. Below is a link to a summary from one of our college students, Stetson Marlin, along with some updates from various team members about the activities during the week.
NY-mission-Trip-2017 – by Stetson Marlin
Today we went on what was called a “prayer tour” where we walked around all different neighborhoods of Brooklyn and prayed over them. We were able to see different religions and social classes such as a Jewish community and extremely poor areas. Our group learned many statistics about the homelessness in NYC. It was interesting to get to see the non-tourist side of New York and being able to learn more about the people that live in these areas.
Today we went on the Queens prayer tour. We walked around the city talking about the issues in Queens, and then we got two or three people to pray about each of them. Next, we went to Project Exodus which is an after school program for kids. We helped them with homework, played with them, talked with them, and then had a dance off which Adam and a boy named Melvin won. It was very powerful seeing all of the different ways that God’s love reaches people.
Today, we went to World Vision in the Bronx to pack up backpacks to provide children with supplies for school. After lunch, we packaged women’s clothing for those who may not have the same access to clothing as others do. We were able to fly through each task as we made an assembly line with each person doing something different while packaging up backpacks and clothing. It was encouraging to be able to provide these items to those who need it as a necessity, but we might take it for granted and not even view it that way. After finishing work at World Vision, we treated ourselves with cannolis and cookie dough. We also got to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant and experience other places when we went to Little Italy and Chinatown. We ended the day with a debriefing in Washington Square Park as birds swarmed around us because Jack fed the birds cookie dough.
Today, we went to Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Community Center and packed 2,000 “cold packs”. We chatted with the seniors, and the boys played pool with them. We got to meet two of the women that work there and help ease their workload. It was an eye-opening experience because we got to see the helping hands that work so hard to provide for the elderly members of the city. It was heartwarming to see how much time they were willing to spend on helping others.
Today, our group went to work in a garden at East New York Farm. They are a non-profit company where they focus on providing healthy, fresh food options for the community. This community does not have stores in walking distance where families can go and buy food. Our group weeded, made new beds for the plants, and rearranged the pipes for the water system. We had amazing hosts to make our experience beyond pleasant! The work that we did as volunteers helped their organization with tasks that could have taken them weeks. We felt an outstanding feeling of love when people of the community walked by and thanked us for the work we were doing. In the afternoon, our group was divided into two groups who went throughout the city and give away a bag full of sanitary items. We passed the bags out to three different people experiencing homelessness. We were given $2 each to pay for dinner while in the city. Our group decided to buy hot dogs. By the end of the day it was heartwarming to see the work that our group did and how successful we were. I’m glad that our group could show God’s work in the middle of Times Square.
The other group that broke off got dropped off into Union Square. We had a bunch of hit and misses at this stop so we went up to Times Square. There we gave all our bags away and found some pizza. We also found a nice cop that gave us his opinion on how the area has been affected by homelessness.
So the beginning of the day we took a lunch and brought a lunch. The mission was to eat your lunch with someone experiencing homelessness. We went to Bryant Park first and scanned the area. We couldn’t find any homeless, so we walked three blocks up to Grand Central Station and found some homeless people. We wanted to sit with them, but they were in the middle of a conversation with other people, so we just briefly talked to them and handed them a lunch. After that, we made our way to the local food bank and helped out there. Our job was to guide the shoppers by giving them the correct amount of certain foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy and protein, and rice and grain. Most of the people spoke Spanish though, so it was pretty difficult.
Thanks to everyone who supported this mission team and by keeping the team in your prayers!